Recently in Holidays Category

Happy 174th, Chicago!

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Chicago celebrates its 174th birthday today. Wishing the City that Works the best!

Celebrate this afternoon at the Chicago History Museum

Celebrate the last day of classes, Chicago-style

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To save money this holiday season, many Chicagoans are taking up a new trend: the "stay-cation," a vacation you take without going anywhere. While Chicago has a host of holiday festivities in the Wintertime, from ice skating in Millennium Park to viewing the new exhibit on Victorian photocollage at the Art Institute. But most of us students are fleeing the city for Winter Break, so now is the time to experience Chicago's holiday season with a "stay-cation" of our own.

Here's a list of some fun events to get you out of Hyde Park tonight, to celebrate the end of Autumn Quarter!

What: Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition
Where: Newberry Library 60 W Walton St (between Dearborn and Clark Sts)
When: 6:15

Description by TimeOutChicago: Designed for those whose love of film goes beyond quoting Big Lebowski lines while drunk, this lecture by film critic and author Jonathan Rosenbaum will touch on the recirculation of classic films as well as the social and aesthetic impact of technological changes. A reception precedes at 5:30pm and a book signing follows.
Tickets: $9, Newberry Library Associates members at the Author level or above $6

What: Decorate Christmas cookies at Beijo de Chocolat
Where: (3334 W. Foster Ave., 773-267-0138)
When: 6-8:30 p.m. attendees will receive a dozen sugar cookies to decorate and get to enjoy mulled cider. Cost is $20.

What: Christkindlmarket
Where: Washington and Dearborn Sts
When: Today-Tomorrow 11am-8pm , Fri-Sat 11am-9pm , Sun-Tue 11am-8pm Ongoing through Dec 24.
Description by TimeOut Chicago: Every year, genuine Germans make the trip across the Atlantic to Daley Plaza, where they set up small stands packed with gifts and culinary delicacies. The traditional-style Christmas market offers hearty holiday fare such as sauerkraut, grilled sausages, potato pancakes, glühwein and sweet candied almonds. The wooden huts also brim with candy, blown glass, European Christmas decorations and other delights.

What: Earth Days, at the Siskel FIlm Center
Where: On State Street between Randolph & Lake (right across from the Chicago Theater).
When: Wednesday December 2nd--6:00pm, 8:00pm, Thursday December 3rd--6:00pm, 8:00pm
Tickets are $7 if you show your student ID.
Description from A look back at the transformative history of the environmental movement combined with a cautionary look ahead, EARTH DAYS revolves around nine gurus of green whose groundbreaking work is largely responsible for creating present-day consciousness of the earth's consumption-induced plight. Director Stone's key innovators include: former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; Denis Hayes, organizer of the original 1970 Earth Day; and Stewart Brand, editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue. A colorfully engaging use of archival footage pinpoints the public mindset and environmental challenges of each era from the 50s through the 80s, through vintage PSAs, TV commercials, and news footage. 35mm. (BS)

A student in my history class said: I can't recommend it enough! Go see it! It's totally worth the bus fare + ticket price!

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido

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May 1, 1886 marked the first day of a peaceful labor protest in Chicago, led by workers demanding an eight-hour work day. This event is commemorated around the world as International Workers' Day. Chicagoans engage by organizing an annual march and rally. This year some 2,000 people braved bad weather and the public health worries of swine flu to march two-and-a-half miles from Union Park to Daley Plaza. The organizers of the rally focused on issues of immigration reform, inviting speakers and organizations from many of Chicagoland's immigrant and progressive groups. Students from Kelly High School in Brighton Park and Social Justice High School in Little Village, members of the Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois, Workers United, Gay Liberation Network, and dozens of other groups came together to celebrate their shared history and common goals, and call for decisive politcal action regarding comprehensive immigration reform. One of the most-repeated cheers of the afternoon was a strong show of solidarity with the city's large Chicano and Latino immigrant population, "Obama escucha: estamos en la lucha" (Obama, listen: we are in the struggle).

From my place in line few opponents were visible, and the event was positive, peaceful, and productive. Chicagoist has a nice selection of pictures from the day, while Progress Illinois, the Tribune, and  the ChiTown Daily News repoort on the event.

Travel tips for Midway Airport

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Run! To this rectangle!

I doubt that airport security checkpoints are anyone's favorite part of Thanksgiving, but here's a tip for folks who will be flying out of Midway to get to their turkeys and tofurkeys this Thursday.

Since early summer, the initial security screening area at Midway has been divided into three sections: one for "Casual Travelers", one for "Families", and one for "Expert Travelers." The system is designed to reduce stress and increase efficiency (and of course to quell terror) but it's not entirely obvious what's going on. The last time I visited Midway, I endured the most scrutinizing ID-check I'd ever experienced and so felt I'd earned my stripes as an "expert" traveler. I shuffled over to the farthest right lane in the security area, and following the signs I wound my way around a corner into a separate screening area. Two sets of metal detectors and TSA squads and all of one fellow passenger awaited me. Forty-five seconds and a pat-down later, I was re-lacing my shoes and heading to my gate. Now this was a Sunday afternoon in a non-peak travel time, but the two-dozen or so families and travelers who were still waiting to sort out their laptops and spare change definitely had a longer wait than I did.

So for folks who are traveling light and don't need much guidance through the screening process (shoes off, belt undone, liquids in a baggie, laptop in a separate case thankyouverymuch) definitely go for the expert lane to save yourself some hassle.

Arts, Culture, and Pumpkins

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Toothpaste For Dinner
Still need to get into the season? Check out these local events that will up your cultural karma without breaking the bank (even if you're a grad student).

The National Museum of Mexican Art hosts La Vida Sin Fin every Tuesday - Sunday until December 14. On Saturday, November 1, from 6 to 8 PM, the museum will hold a Dia de los Muertos community night. "Remember your lost loved ones on this Day of the Dead and enjoy the exhibition, hot chocolate, day of the dead bread, art making, and more."

Check out the Irish American Heritage Center's Samhain/Day Of The Dead...thinking About Persephone Exhibit. "Samhain/Day of the Dead...thinking about Persephone is a mixed media group show that celebrates the festivals, Samhain and Day of the Dead. Both festivals participate in the birth, death and resurrection cycle. This year's exhibit again includes similar traditions of other cultural groups, including the Greek culture. The art will be presented by sculpture, paintings and installations." This free exhibit is open from 1-4 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Look out for rats at the 12th annual North Halsted Halloween Parade -- this year's highlight is the Rat City float. The parade starts at 7 PM on Belmont & Halsted and continues north to Addison. A costume contest is open to those who register at 5:30 before the event, with mad cash prizes for the most creative.

If you're not familiar with the Japanese film genre of Pinky Violence, Tokyo Gore Police might be the best introduction you could hope for. Facets Cinemateque is playing the film from October 31 to November 6 at 7 and 9:15 for $9.